I've always thought that Banjo Patterson's bush ballad "Clancy of the Overflow" could go a long way to describing modern life.
How many of us are that man in his "dingy little office, where a stingy ray of sunlight struggles feebly down between the houses tall." (AB Banjo Patterson, Clancy of the Overflow)
The humdrum of daily life, the never ending cycle of getting out of bed, going to work at a job that pays the bills but does little else to enrich our life, getting home, eating a meal, and going to bed so we can get up and do it all again tomorrow.
How few of us are the Clancy's of the Overflow?
"And he sees the vision splendid of the sunlit plains extended, And at night the wondrous glory of the everlasting stars." (AB Banjo Patterson, Clancy of the Overflow)
(It's a beautiful and iconic bit of Australian poetry and romance, this poem, and I heartily recommend you look it up!)
To be fair, my "office" isn't dingy, there's no hustle and bustle, but the laundry is always calling my name. The vacuum shoots me dirty looks as I walk passed it, again and again. The dishes in the sink (and on it, around it, down the bench, on the floor) stare at me in a dull sort of fashion, their grotty resentment palpable, even to me.
So what have I done about all this today?
Well, to put it plainly, I ditched the lot of them.
The flapping of the laundry has been replaced by gulls gliding on the air as if they were the masters of the wind itself.
The vacuum's dirty looks weren't enough to stir me to action but the dogs woeful looks were - they've come along for the ride.
The crashing of dishes no longer sounds in my ears - I can't even imagine it over the majestic, inevitable, never-ending crash of waves.
With the sun on my back, the breeze in my hair and the pounding surf in my ears, I've run away to paradise for the day.
I'm sitting here with sand between my toes listening to the endless song of the sea and maybe I can feel all my cares floating away, replaced with a few truths in life.
1. I am responsible for my own happiness.
2. No matter what, I should never ignore my own integrity.
3. When sick with something antibiotics can't cure, a hot cup of thermos tea on the beach is wonderful medicine.
4. Paint the light, not the thing.
5. Listen to your dog.
Time is brief and fleeting - fill yours with what satisfies you.
As much as Banjo Patterson was an artist with words from his dingy little office, I think I'd much rather be a Clancy of the Overflow; wouldn't you?